With the advent of digitalization and multiple countries all over the world adopting a cashless economy, debit cards have become a necessity that everyone should have.
A debit card, popularly known as plastic cash, provides direct access to your savings account through an ATM, card swipes, or online transactions.
Debit cards save constant trips to the bank for transacting cash and instead allows easy access to your personal savings account from anywhere. Due to its widespread acceptance all across the world, debit cards can be used internationally too, irrespective of the presence of a branch of your bank in that particular country.
Although debit cards can be either obtained from the bank in which you have a savings account or you can apply for it from the bank’s online website and have it delivered at your doorstep, these days every bank provides its customers with a debit card when a savings account is opened.
Each country has its own debit card provider. For example, India’s Rupay, China’s Union Pay, and the UK’s Maestro. Besides these local debit card providers, there are companies that provide debit cards internationally and operate in almost every country in the world.
These companies are American Express, Visa, Discover Card, and Master Card. These cards can be utilized to debit money from your savings account from anywhere in the world.
This article will mainly focus on the following list of points.
- Advantages of debit cards
- Disadvantages of debit cards
- Types of debit cards
- Dos and Don’ts
- FAQs on debit cards
Advantages of Debit Cards
Debit cards are quickly replacing hard cash when it comes to transactions. They have not only changed the way we do online transactions but has also played a big role in keeping our money secure. The following are a list of advantages that debit cards provide over cash.
- Debit cards have significantly reduced the risk of fraud, theft, and misuse by replacing hard cash with plastic money that can only be accessed by the owner of the card.
- Due to its small size, they are easy and convenient to carry and store in your wallet or your bag as compared to cash and checkbooks.
- With ATMs being placed at every corner of the city, debit cards provide easy access to cash and also provide the provision of merchant transactions at Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.
- Debit cards also help in keeping a track of your money. After each transaction done from the card, the bank sends an automated message to your mobile to inform you about the amount of money that has been debited or credited.
- Utilization of debit cards also provides you with multiple privileges and rewards like discounts, cashback, free insurance coverage and redeemable points which can be accumulated over time to win gifts and prizes.
- Unlike currencies that differ from country to country and needs to be exchanged, debit cards can operate in other countries without having to undergo the hassle of converting your money.
Disadvantages of Debit Cards
Every invention has its own set of disadvantages that cannot be ignored. In fact, these disadvantages should be recognized and worked upon to make the debit card even better. Here is a list of disadvantages of debit cards.
- Banks sometimes incur fees on cash withdrawals from the ATM. Not only that, if cash is withdrawn from an ATM which is of another bank, double the amount of fees is incurred, one by your bank and another by the bank which owns the ATM. There are times when banks also charge monthly fees on debit cards.
- There are times when entertainment services deduct their charges from your debit card on a monthly basis. The problem with this scenario is that the money would keep deducting even when you are having a shortage of funds in your savings account. This would result in overdraft fees being incurred on your account and you will also have to cancel your subscription too.
Types of Debit Cards
Debit cards have a number of variants. Here are the number of debit cards that are provided by banks all over the world.
- On the basis of technology used
- Contactless debit cards are one of the most advanced versions of debit cards that use the technology of radio frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) secure transactions. These types of debit cards can be used by tapping it directly on the machine.
- Magnetic strip debit cards are the most commonly used cards all over the world. The card is covered with tiny iron particles on one side which can be swiped in a card reader.
- Debit cards also come with a chip installed in it which stores encrypted data in it which can only be accessed by a 4 digit pin. For each transaction that is made, the pin is required to be entered in the ATM or the card reader to authenticate the transaction.
- On the Basis of Usage
- Prepaid debit cards require you to pay a specific amount of money to the bank which is then installed in your card. Prepaid debit cards are not linked to your savings account and require you to pay money to the bank in order to debit it from time to time using your prepaid debit card.
- International debit cards can be used to debit money from overseas ATM from your savings account. Usually, banks charge a small fee called Foreign Exchange Markup whenever you use an ATM or do a transaction using your international debit card.
- Some debit cards are issued by banks to corporations for business purposes.
Dos and Don’ts of a Debit Card
- In the case of losing your debit card, it is advised to immediately report it to your bank to prevent fraud and theft.
- If by any chance, unsolicited transactions occur from your debit card, it can be easily tracked using your email. Hence it is advised to always keep track of your email, especially the ones received from your bank.
- During online transactions, make sure you authenticate your transactions by entering the pin number and giving signatures.
- It is never wise to disclose your debit card’s pin number to strangers or colleagues. You should never disclose your pin over social media or while texting with someone.
- Always keep the debit card protected and avoid damaging it. If the magnetic strip or the chip gets damaged, the card reader or the ATM won’t be able to detect it and thus would void any transaction that you would want to do.
FAQs on Debit Cards
Q1) How is a debit card different from a credit card?
Ans) While using debit cards, money that you use gets directly deducted from your savings account. In the case of credit cards, the money that you use is given to you on credit by the bank and you will have to repay it back to them with interest.
Q2) What to do if you forget your PIN?
Ans) in case you forget the PIN for your debit card, you can approach your bank and provide them with your card number and CVV number. The newly generated pin then gets sent to your registered mobile number
With multiple types of debit cards being provided by the bank, there is no dearth of choices for you to choose from when it comes to getting the type of debit card that you require specifically